Risky Business? Pac Decisionmaking in Congressional Elections

By Robert Biersack; Paul S. Herrnson et al. | Go to book overview

will be far more difficult to trace than PAC contributions, clouding the transparency of the disclosure system.

It is also unclear whether a system in which a greater proportion of candidate funds comes from individuals will benefit nonincumbents or will make members of Congress less likely to listen to the arguments of representatives of particular groups. If PACs were abolished, interest-group members would still contribute to candidates and lobby representatives and senators. Many of these contributors would consider the same factors that PAC managers now consider and listen to the same cue-givers. It is possible that corporate money would be somewhat more ideological if it came entirely from individual corporate officials, most of whom are Republicans. Yet corporate officials recognize the benefits of access to Democratic incumbents, and many would contribute accordingly.

Thus, the limits in the Senate bill seem likely to encourage more coordinated individual contributions, which will be difficult to trace, and more independent expenditures, which may limit electoral accountability. Yet the behavior of PACs in the 1992 election cycle does suggest the need for some reform to level the playing field.

We cannot and do not wish to eliminate interest-group activity in elections. We do, however, favor greater electoral competition. Because campaign funds appear to have a larger incremental value to nonincumbents than to incumbents, and because quality candidates can use early money to attract later resources from other sources, it should be possible to increase the competitiveness of congressional elections with only a modest commitment of resources. We do not advocate additional limits on contributions but rather suggest that additional resources be provided to nonincumbents.

It is not our purpose to propose a complete set of reforms, but certain ideas seem worth mentioning. Reforms that prevent incumbents from carrying over money from one election cycle to the next might encourage better challengers, who might otherwise be deterred by large incumbent war chests. 22 Reforms that provide some additional funds for nonincumbents, especially early in the election cycle, would help quality candidates more effectively communicate their ideas to the electorate. It would probably be necessary to allow both incumbents and nonincumbents to claim these grants, but it seems likely that the electoral climate would make it more difficult for an incumbent to accept the money. Both of these types of reforms would encourage more competitive elections. Free television or radio time for candidates, reduced postage rates for campaign mail, and additional provisions to aid political parties could also help the competitive nonincumbents whom the parties generally support.


Conclusion

We began this study by posing three questions. First, how do PACs select the candidates they support? Second, where do they obtain the information needed to select among the many candidates who request their funds? These two questions

-256-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Risky Business? Pac Decisionmaking in Congressional Elections
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 314

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.